I recently co-hosted Fashion Arts Studio’s Young Designers Fashion Show at Bloomingdale’s White Plains. I took the opportunity to sit down with Fashion Arts Studio’s director, Ying Su to ask her about her design studio and of course to give us a peek into her suburban life in Westchester C
Tell me about Fashion Arts Studio
I’ve been a designer in the fashion industry most of my life. I also taught at Parsons and FIT as an adjunct professor. After teaching there, I decided I wanted to teach kids fashion and opened Fashion Arts Studio. But I want learning to be fun. I know kids learn best when they are actually having fun. I deliberately called Fashion Arts a “Studio” and not “School.” This is because I wanted it to be a place where kids can learn, have fun, experiment and be creative. My students literally create their vision- from concept/sketch to sewing the actual garment. Our program is very hands-on. Kids learn from DOING. Even failed projects can be a learning experience!
How old are your students?
I teach children 5-18 years old and there are adult classes too! As they get older, and if they are serious about wanting to become a designer, I add advanced projects and challenge them to come up with more intricate designs. My younger students are here because their parents want them to learn skills, especially hand-eye coordination so I make it fun for them.
Any advice for aspiring young designers?
My advice to budding designers is that you have to love it- not just the cute clothes, the superficiality of fashion, but the sweat and tears, and all the hard work, long hours of being a designer. There are critics everywhere but you have to have a very strong conviction that this is what you really love. The best thing about being a designer these days is that there are many opportunities and more outlets- retail, social media, internet, virtual stores (sites like Etsy) and not just corporate jobs in brands. Plus there are brands and labels for every type of style- years ago, it was only all about mall stores.
You used to live in
NYC, tell me about your move to Westchester
My husband and I are both artists/designers. I moved to the city to attend Parsons and my husband was in Pratt. We lived all over the city- Williamsburg, Park Slope, Chelsea, East Village, even up by the Cloisters. We are both from the suburbs. I grew up in Barrington RI and my husband is from Shaker Heights, OH. We were both raised in safe neighborhoods with the best schools. And we knew we wanted the same thing for our children. We moved out of the city to Westchester County when our daughter was 2 years old. First, we moved to the Fleetwood section of Mt. Vernon. Then we moved to New Rochelle and finally ended up in Larchmont. We wanted our children to grow up in a nice neighborhood with excellent schools like what we experienced when we were kids. Westchester County gave us that experience.
What is it like living in Westchester?
To be honest, we spend a lot of time in the city, socially as well. Our family lives in the city and most of our friends still live there. Our friends here we met through my daughter and daughter’s parents friends. Again, that’s what I love about living in lower Westchester County because we are so close to the city!
What are your favorite restaurants?
I’m always in Port Chester since my studio is there (next door to the Capital theater where we’ve seen Duran Duran and B-52’s!). I love Acuario in Port Chester. It is a Peruvian restaurant. I love that it is hidden in a nondescript side street that you can’t even tell there is a restaurant there. I also like Bar Taco, Tandoori and Tarry Lodge (order the Garganelli with Funghi). I also love Ripe Kitchen and Bar in Mt. Vernon. This is a GREAT Jamaican restaurant that beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. And to be honest, we go to the city and Queens (Flushing) for good Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese food. That’s what I like about living in lower Westchester, you are so close to the city. It’s easy to hop on the train or drive in for dinner!
Photos from Young Designers Fashion Show at Bloomingdale’s
About Ying Su
Ying Su is the founder of the Fashion Arts Studio located in Port Chester, New York. Ying, a graduate of Parsons School of Design, has been a designer in the fashion industry for over 20 years. Ying has worked at branded companies such as Gap, Inc., J.Crew, and Liz Lange. Prior to working in corporate brands, Ying Su’s designer collection of dresses were carried and sold at Barney’s, Bendel’s, and Macy’s.
A former adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and F.I.T
@fashionartstudio on Instagram